Québec Seeks to Rein in Bitcoin Miner Power Allowance

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  • Québec’s energy manager is seeking to reduce the amount given to Bitcoin miners
  • Hydro-Québec wants to reallocate energy supplies to residents and businesses ahead of a winter surge
  • Québec is a very popular mining location due to its supply of dammed water

Québec is seeking to rein in the amount of power being supplied to Bitcoin miners in the area amid high energy demands from domestic and commercial users. Hydro-Québec, the firm managing electricity across the Canadian province, wants to reallocate energy supplied to mining firms but must obtain a decree from the energy board to release it from its obligation to power crypto miners in the region. Currently, Hydro-Québec allocates 270 megawatts toward the mining firms, but an anticipated increase in demand in Québec will put pressure on the energy supplier to put residents and businesses first.

“Reliability and Security” of Energy Supply Needs Increasing

Québec is a very popular region for Bitcoin miners due to its plentiful natural energy source of dammed water, and there many miners are bound by deals that mean they must agree to a reduction in energy supplies when the region’s residents and businesses need it.

Anticipating this, Hydro-Québec filed with the government’s energy board on November 1 saying that a temporary reduction in the power provided to Bitcoin mining firms could help prevent threats to the “reliability and security” of energy for Québec residents:

The additional energy needs in winter are high, and this, without the addition of the load related to the balance of the block reserved for cryptographic use applied to blockchains. There are anticipated energy purchases of nearly 3 [terawatt-hours] in winter from 2025 and even exceeding 3 TWh in 2027.

This potential reduction in energy supplies comes at a time when Bitcoin miners all over the world are struggling with energy costs and Bitcoin’s stagnant price. However, those mining firms that are able to use freely available energy sources, such as many of those in Québec, may take advantage as other players drop out given the energy costs won’t affect them as much.